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GIWA and Careers in Grain investing in casual harvest skills

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GIWA supports the new Grains Australia being co-located in Perth with AEGIC

WA Grain Joint Industry Statement August 2020 - view the Statement on the Industry Consolidation pag..

2020 Australian Grain Industry Post Harvest Chemical Usage Outturn Tolerances

For updated agricultural chemical residue maximum residue limits (MRLs) in the Australian grain supp..

GIWA Crop Report - July 2020

View the full GIWA Crop Report for July 2020 here ( ..

Chemical Residues

National Regulation of Agricultural Chemicals and Food Safety: Australia’s Competitive Advantage

Australia has a global reputation as a food producing and trading nation with one of the highest standards of biosecurity and food safety in the world. This competitive advantage is something the Australian grain industry protects and invests in heavily.

The national government regulator for agricultural chemicals, pesticides and veterinary medicines is the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medical Association (APVMA).  

The national government regulator (Australia and New Zealand) for food safety including chemicals in food is Food Standards Australia New Zealand or FSANZ. FSANZ regularly conducts and publishes a survey of food safety called the Australian Total Diet Study (25th)

The Australian grain industry supports national regulations and international best agricultural practice in the management of biosecurity and chemicals in agricultural and food supply chains. GIWA supports the national industry-endorsed biosecurity, fertilizer, chemical residue, storage and handling, occupational health and safety management practices in the code of practice Growing Australian Grain 2018 (attached) and the Grain Trade Australia Industry Code of Practice and Technical Guidelines

Growing Australian Grain March 2018 Growing Australian Grain March 2018 (3235 KB)


GTA Australian Grain Industry Code of Practice_May2018 GTA Australian Grain Industry Code of Practice_May2018 (842 KB)

Growers and the Australian federal government also co-fund (that’s right - to be responsible users of agricultural chemicals, growers levy themselves then co-fund) the annual and globally regarded testing survey of chemicals in the Australian grain and horticultural supply chains called the National Residue Survey (NRS) The NRS is very active in Western Australia both in testing grain and in industry engagement activities, and works side by side with the state Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, the national Department of Agriculture, the APVMA, FSANZ and industry’s National Working Party for Grain Protection NWPGP.

How the Australian Grain Industry manages chemical residues

The grain industry works through the GRDC funded National Working Party for Grain Protection NWPGP to monitor global chemical residue regulation for grains, communicate the regulation of chemicals in the Australian grain supply chains, and understand which export grain markets have which tolerances for which chemicals (they are not all the same as Australia’s chemical regulations). A short version of Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) which are set by the APVMA for Australian grain commodities against a comparison of the MRLs of our major export grain markets can be found in the pdf below.

NWPGP Australian Grain Export Market MRLs Oct 2019 NWPGP Australian Grain Export Market MRLs Oct 2019 (627 KB)

The major bulk grain handler in Western Australia, the CBH Group, which is owned by growers, has industry ‘best practice’ policies and sophisticated equipment to test for chemical residues, as does Bunge, the smaller WA bulk handler based in Bunbury.

To help maintain Western Australia’s reputation for supplying clean and safe grain, CBH tests for chemical residues during and after harvest. A link to the CBH approach to chemical residue management, including the contaminated loads policy, can be found on the CBH website.

Glyphosate’s role in the Australian grain industry

We understand the agricultural chemical of most concern to the Australian public is glyphosate. We as an industry are actively responding to your concerns and monitoring the regulation of and science on glyphosate in Australian and global jurisdictions.

In Australia glyphosate is regulated by the APVMA and has been legal for several decades; the APVMA deems glyphosate safe if used at regulated usage patterns.

Glyphosate is our industry’s most commonly used weed killer; using it means we preserve moisture for crops to grow, do not have to plough the paddocks (no-till or minimum till) or risk losing soil health and top soil nutrients through wind erosion from ploughing. Given that the grain industry is worth over $7 billion to the Western Australian economy each year, and given our climate variability, glyphosate’s role is critical to the long term sustainability of our industry in preserving soil moisture, helping us take care of our soils and minimise weeds like ryegrass, brome grass and radish which contaminate the crop for sale and rob the growing crop of moisture.

Glyphosate is not allowable over all crops and there are a range of other agricultural technologies/practices and chemicals available which can do some of what glyphosate does, but they are not necessarily used in the same way, and they may have different Maximum Residue Limit ratings as set by the regulator the APVMA. For further information please go to the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s GRDC website or read the GRDC’s most recent information for the stewardship of pre-harvest herbicides.

GRDC_FactSheet_Preharvest Herbicide Use 1710_05[1] GRDC_FactSheet_Preharvest Herbicide Use 1710_05[1] (213 KB)

How glyphosate is applied to crops

When used, glyphosate is applied to crops in two main ways. Sometimes it is applied at the start of the growing season to get rid of weeds before seeding (pre-emergent application). Sometimes it is applied to late season weeds before harvest (late-season application or spray-topping). Please note the term “dessicating” refers to spraying crops before harvest to artificially ripen them, that is not a practice followed in Australia but it is followed by some of our competitors globally. Because of our climate and summer rains, the pre-emergent application of glyphosate occurs more regularly in WA than the late season application. Growers and agronomists are required to use glyphosate against the recommended usage rates set by the regulator the APVMA; growers are required to keep strict records of chemical usage within their farm business ABNs, and are required to declare chemical usage when they deliver grain into the bulk handling system.

Minor use permits for agricultural chemicals in crops

Minor use permits, also regulated by the APVMA are use regulations for chemicals which may not be used very often or only in small volumes on small volume crops, thus not generating an economic return for a chemical manufacturer. This means other kinds of commercial or industry or grower organisations can hold minor use permits for the benefit of industry usage.

GIWA currently holds one minor use permit for an agricultural chemical, for pre-emergent use on oats, valid to 31st March 2022, PER84040 for Trifluralin/Pre-Emergent Treatment in Oats for Suppression/Control of Certain Annual Grasses and Broadleaf Weeds on Oats.

The latest list of Minor Use Permits for all broadacre crops (Pulses, Oilseeds, Cereals, Other Crops, Legumes, Fallow, Grasshoppers and Locusts, Pasture, Bushland, Firebreaks and Rights of Way, Vertebrate Pests) issued by the consultants to the GRDC “Pesticides for Minor Uses in Grain” project can be found below and for further information please contact project consultants Steve Jones or Kevin Bodnaruk

Current Ag Pesticide Minor Use Permits Broad Acre Crops February 2019 Current Ag Pesticide Minor Use Permits Broad Acre Crops February 2019 (604 KB)

Further information

Larissa Taylor, CEO, Grain Industry Association of WA +61 8 6262 2128 or +61 413 076 665
Rob Dickie, Government and Industry Relations, CBH Group, +61 447 677 887 or +61 9416 6313
Simon Little, Bunge Quality Manager +61 448 444 335
Gerard McMullen, Chair, National Working Party for Grain Protection NWPGP + 61 419 156 065
Georgia Megirian, Crop Protection Officer West, Grains Research and Development Corporation + 61 8 9230 4600 and +61 439 575 900